Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Andrew Finley

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2021 Lizzette Rojas


I dive into the question of whether PPP fund distribution affects COVID-19 case or death count. I measure PPP fund distribution in two ways: total number (count) of PPP disbursements made to a county and total monetary amount of funds distributed to a county. I also measure effects on COVID-19 in two ways: case counts and death counts. To capture the effect of the distribution of a PPP loan on case counts or death counts, I implement a lag of two weeks into the model. I also consider the effect that maximum state unemployment benefits can have on the regression by controlling for it in a separate OLS regression. The results suggest that an increase in PPP fund distribution in a given county leads to an increase in both COVID-19 cases and deaths. It also appears that state unemployment benefits also have a positive relationship with COVID-19 deaths. In the end, the results support the idea that PPP fund distribution has unintended consequences on COVID-19 outcomes since the intention behind the program is to aid with business survival rates, yet they prove to have a statistically significant, positive relationship with COVID-19 cases and deaths. Despite finding positive statistical significance in the relationships I observed, I cannot rule out that the observed association may be due to some omitted correlated variable, maybe related to a control variable I was not able to include due to limited access to data.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.